On November 16 and 17, the 21st edition of the Precision Fair was held at Brabanthallen s’Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.
Organized by Mikrocentrum, the Precision Fair is the trade fair for the entire precision technology industry: from mechatronic engineering, metrology, vacuum, microprocessing, and motion to production for high precision. In this year’s event, over 325 top companies, training institutes, government agencies, technical universities, and incubator programs in the field came together to share with, learn from, and meet others throughout the entire precision value chain.
Attendees shared their latest developments on the exhibition floor, discussed industry topics at networking events such as the International Meet & Match by Enterprise Europe Network, and had the chance to attend one of over 50 lectures from industry experts, including a keynote by Professor David Trumper of the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. This year’s fair also paid special attention to up-and-coming talent, with student teams and start-ups presenting innovative projects in the Young Talent Program (more below) on both days of the event.
Precision technology is one of the foundations of the Dutch knowledge and innovation economy. The demand for smaller and more accurate measurement is rising as precision technologies as have become the basis for the increasingly complex devices and components powering our world.
Meeting, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing are indispensable to keeping up with rapid technological developments, and the Precision Fair's collaborations with Big Science projects and large international OEMs continue to result in a large number of assignments for the business community.
Some of the industry-leading companies that showcased their latest technology included:
Maxon is a worldwide leading provider of high-precision drive systems. For the past 50 years, the Swiss-based manufacturer and its subsidiaries have supplied electric DC motors, AC motors, encoders, gears, and electric motor controllers to a wide range of industries. Maxon drives have even been tested successfully on Mars.
Some key applications of Maxon’s mechatronic drive systems include medical microdrives in medical devices such as pumps, prosthetics, tools, and respiratory devices; mobility drives systems such as e-bikes, SCR systems, underwater vehicles, and logistics robots; brushed and brushless DC motors for aerospace applications; and microdrives for industrial automation applications.
Faulhaber is a leading supplier in the area of high precision miniature and micro drive systems, offering an extensive range of precision drive technologies from high performance DC Motors and BLDC Motors to Linear Motors and Stepper Motors for use in challenging applications such as medical devices, aerospace and aviation, high precision optics, robotics and automation and much more. From the powerful DC motor with a continuous torque of 200 mNm to the filigree micro drive with an outer diameter of 1.9 mm, the Faulhaber standard range can be combined in more than 25 million different ways to create the optimum drive system for a particular application.
Founded in 1947, Faulhaber is an independent family-run group of companies headquartered near Stuttgart, Germany, with development and production locations in Switzerland, the USA, Romania and Hungary. Awarded several times for its successful and sustained innovation management.
Hexagon is the global leader in digital reality solutions, with a comprehensive portfolio of sensor, software and autonomous technologies that boost efficiency, productivity, quality and safety across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector and mobility applications. At the core of Hexagon’s strategy is targeting the rapidly widening gap between the enormous amounts of data being created and the world’s ability to harness it and enabling their customers to leverage this data in new, world-changing ways.
One area of focus for Hexagon is leveraging data to improve precision agriculture to increase food security and resilience. Comprehensive data collection and analysis systems will improve coordination and management of cultivation and harvest logistics and assure GNSS positioning solutions that enable precision farming and deploy new autonomous capabilities.
Edwards is a global leader in the design and manufacture of vacuum technology. A British-based subsidiary of Atlas Copco, Edwards holds 1,700 patents and produces vacuum equipment used for semiconductor manufacturing, scientific research and analytical instruments, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, recycling, microscopy, cryogenics and freeze drying, LEDs and solar cells, flat panel displays and an increasingly diverse range of industrial processes. Edwards pumps are used in the system that removes contaminants at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
Eltrex Motion is a specialist in drive and positioning technology, providing high quality components and services for the equipment and machine building industry in the Benelux. Eltrex Motion has a wide range of motors for all kinds of applications, ranging from consumer products to industrial machines, as well as various add-ons for motors such as gearboxes, feedback systems, peripherals and instruments. Their clients are active in a wide range of markets, including agriculture, medical equipment, construction, semiconductors, transport and logistics, and aviation and defense.
GOM Metrology, a company of the ZEISS Group, specializes in industrial 3D coordinate measuring technology, 3D computed tomography, and 3D testing. With more than 35,000 employees in 50 countries, ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics.
GOM develops, produces, and distributes 3D measuring systems that accelerate product development and manufacturing processes for international companies in industries such as automotive, aerospace, energy, and consumer goods, as well as for many research institutes and universities.
New innovations will be driven by the next generation, which is why Mikrocentrum offers young talent and their budding technology projects a stage there through its Young Talent Program. The Young Talent Program is made up of several awards, including the Boost Your Talent Award, which Mikrocentrum presents together with the Dutch KIVI engineering association.
Start-ups and student teams send in a 30-second pitch about their technology or product and hold a three-minute pitch on the day itself. A jury composed of Bert-Jan Woertman, the Director of Mikrocentrum, and Richard Hulskes, Co-founder of Wevolver, among others, decide the winners based on factors such as the design and substantiation underpinning the presented innovation.
This year’s winners included Lieke de Visscher of the FIRST Robotics Team Force Fusion, who won a €5,000 training check from Mikrocentrum, and Tijmen Seignette, who was awarded a €5,000 marketing budget from Wevolver.
Tijmen pitched his graduation project titled 'Measuring Ground Reaction Forces in Running Specific Prostheses - A Fibre Optic Sensing Approach,’ where he designed a sensor system for running specific prostheses together with Photon First and Gyromotics. His system can be used to improve sprinting performance of Paralympic athletes, as well as validate prosthetic design choices. You can learn more about his project soon, as it will be featured on the Wevolver platform over the coming months.
As a connecting platform for the high-tech and manufacturing industry, Mikrocentrum is an educator, meeting place. innovation accelerator ad program maker. Mikrocentrum is an independent foundation that invests heavily in the development of the tech industry. And is especially fascinated by technology. With knowledge and connection as a foundation, Mikrocentrum is helping to build the future of the high-tech and manufacturing industry. And they have been committed to this for more than 55 years.